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California’s Literacy Crisis: Science of Reading Has Taken Decades to Reach Classrooms

California is facing a literacy crisis.

According to recent data, nearly 60% of California’s fourth-grade students are not proficient in reading, and this number is even higher for students from low-income families and students of color. This is a serious problem that must be addressed if we want to ensure that all students have the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

For students to become proficient readers, they need to develop strong phonemic awareness (the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in words), phonics (the understanding of the relationship between letters and sounds), vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

woman reading a book to the children

Research has told us how children learn to read and the most effective ways to teach reading for decades, yet California has yet to adapt.

Many teachers dont know the science of reading, or that the science of reading exists. We’ve had the information we needed for over 20 years on how to produce strong readers yet there has been no progress made in reading scores.

Recent studies have even shown that many of the strategies teachers teach for reading are actually causing more harm than good for their reading skills. Children are being set up for failure from the begining.

Here we are decades later and schools are still not lining up with the science. 

Kids are not being taught how to read because for decades teachers have been using strategies and curriculum based on false claims on how children learn how to read. We put no blame on teachers. Teachers continue to be trained in this harmful way even though the theories were debunked before many teachers were even born.

Evidence-based reading instruction uses a structured approach that ensures students receive instruction in each of these areas and that instruction is delivered in a logical and sequential manner.

53% of California’s 3rd Graders read BELOW grade level

To address the literacy crisis in California, policymakers and educators must prioritize evidence-based reading instruction.

By promoting effective reading instruction based on the science of reading, California can help ensure that all students have the foundational literacy skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

Not following the science of reading,

Another contributing factor to the literacy crisis in California is a lack of resources for schools. Many schools in California, particularly those in low-income communities, do not have the resources they need to provide students with effective reading instruction. This includes things like trained teachers, instructional materials, and technology. Without these resources, it is much more difficult for students to learn to read at grade level.

The California literacy crisis also disproportionately affects students of color. For example, data shows that only about 30% of Black and Latino fourth-grade students in California are proficient in reading, compared to about 50% of white students.

Need to train teachers, …….. Another is to provide schools with the resources they need to provide effective reading instruction. Additionally, it is important to target resources and support to schools and communities that are most in need.

The literacy crisis in California is a serious problem that must be addressed today

Teachers are untrained to teach reading because the government dropped billions of dollars on curriculum that was aligned with their false theory.

If you’re like most parents, you take your kids to school with the idea that youre child will be taught to read.

in 1997,

In 1997, to address the literacy crisis, congress along with the NICHD and the U.S. Dept of Education appointed a National Reading Panel made up of 14 educators and scientists to evaluate existing research and evidence to find the best ways of teaching children to read.

The NRP concluded their research and submitted their final report on April 13, 2000

Over 20 years ago, the federal government released an extensive review of research that took place over decades by the National Reading Panel (NRP). The federal government The NRP published a 449 page review of the rigorous research that’s been conducted over decades and to answer the questions….

Congress tasked the NRP to “assess the status of research based knowledge, including the effectiveness of various approaches to teaching children to read.” Additionally, the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) provided a set of specific questions to pin-point problems and solutions.

1 out of 4 kids in fourth grade can not read at grade level. This means they can not read key words that are needed to understand the text.

In 2020, a group of students, parents and advocates won a lawsuit against the California State Department of Education and State Board of Education for failing to provide students with their basic right to an education. (CalMatters)

Harvard has been slamming the government for years

The science of learning and behavior

Politics and profit off public education.